Gender Characteristics Which Distinguish Women:

  • lunar cycle
  • estrogen influence:  puberty, sex drive, child birth, menopause
  • physiology:  breasts, hips, vagina, hair
  • socialized to privilege appearance
  • socialized to “be taken care of” by a male figure:  father/husband/boss
  • prone to specific diseases:  eating disorders, Lupus, gynecological disorders, breast cancer

Common Lables Used to Describe Women

slut coquette
whore tease
bitch vamp
dyke flirt
witch trifler
courtesan hoyden
demimonde cunt
demimondaine siren
prostitute prick tease
wench cock tease
harlot gold-digger
strumpet wanton
demirep battle-ax
trollop hag
slattern crone
Jezebel freak
hussy ball and chain
hooker nympho
tramp hex
coutesan old maid
cocotte beldam
lez/lesbian/lesbo bag
vixen bat
skeezer gorgon
Miss Priss hellcat
harridan scamp
cow cow
Pollyanna Jewish Princess
mofo/mother diva
old lady

62 words compose this incomplete list.  What commonalties do you observe?

How many words of similar connotation can you catalogue to describe men?

What sense do you make of your results?

Gender Questions for Women:

  • How does being a woman affect identity?
  • How does being a woman affect social status?
  • How does being a woman affect employment?
  • How does being a woman affect proximity to/in violence?
  • How does being a woman affect political power/affiliation?
  • How does being a woman affect empowerment?
  • How does being a woman affect higher education status?
  • How does gender affect voice?
  • How does gender affect credibility?
  • How does gender affect sexual identity/role?
  • How does the mass media portray women?
  • How does literature represent women?
  • Do women share a common culture?  If so what are its characteristics?

Another Woman

Today another woman died
and not on a foreign field
and not with a rifle strapped to her back,
and not with a large defense of tanks
rumbling and rolling behind her.

She died without CNN covering her war.
She died without talk of intelligent bombs
and strategic targets.
The target was simply her face, her back
her pregnant belly.

The target was her precious flesh
that was once composed like music
in her mother’s body and sung
in the anthem of birth.

The target was this life
that had lived its own dear wildness,
had been loved and not loved,
had danced and not danced.

A life like yours or mine
that had stumbled up
from a beginning
and had learned to walk
and had learned to read
and had learned to sing.

Another woman died today.
not far from where you live;
Just there, next door where the tall light
falls across the pavement.

Just there, a few steps away
where you’ve often heard shouting,
Another woman died today.
She was the same girl
her mother used to kiss;
the same child you dreamed
beside in school.

The same baby her parents
walked in the night with
and listened and listened and listened
For her cries even while they slept.
And someone has confused his rage
with this woman’s only life.

-Carol Geneya Kaplan

I am another woman, though I did not die that day…

I am a lunar creature; I quicken life within me…

I am a woman…

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!